Housing

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There are many types of apartments and houses available to rent.  The monthly rent you pay for your apartment really depends on how much you want to spend. See the local newspaper to investigate the costs of renting an apartment.

Most landlords will require that you pay the first month's rent in advance, before you move in.  Many also require a ‘damage deposit' – this can be equivalent to up to 75% of one month's rent. The landlord will keep this money in trust and the tenant has a say in how the security deposit is disbursed. If you have damaged the property in any way, the landlord can keep this money to repair the damages.  After that, you will be required to pay your rent to your landlord each month, generally on the first or last day of the month.

You may be required to sign a 1-year rental agreement.  As well, the landlord must provide you with a document that explains the legal rights and responsibilities of the renter and the landlord. This document is called the Landlord and Tenant Act, and you can find detailed information about this on the above link.

The average apartment typically includes a kitchen, bathroom, a living room and one or more bedrooms. Some may include an outdoor space such as a balcony or a yard. Most rental properties include the following fixtures and appliances:

  • Kitchen – Refrigerator and stove/oven.  Some may have a dishwasher.
  • Bathroom – Sink, shower and/or bathtub and toilet (bidets are not typically found in Canada).
  • Washer and dryer may or may not be included.  If not, you will need to find a laundromat nearby where you can do laundry or there might be a central laundry room if you are renting in an apartment building.

 

Housing5It is possible to rent apartments that are already furnished, but generally you need to provide the furniture. For those who can't afford new furniture, there are some discount stores where you can find very affordable used furniture that is in good condition. Just look up ‘used furniture' in the yellow pages of the phone book. 

Look in the classified advertisements in the community newspapers. Many newspapers run advertisements on the internet. Click here for a list of newspapers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Look for “Vacancy” or “For Rent” signs on houses and apartment buildings in neighborhoods where you would like to live.

Look for advertisements on notice boards. Many places such as community centres, grocery stores, coffee shops and laundromats have notice boards. Neighbors with homes to rent will often post notices there.

When you are looking for a property to rent, you should also consider what additional costs the property will have.  Some properties include heating and other costs in the monthly rent, while others don't.  Monthly costs such as heating, telephone, television (cable) and internet can really add to your monthly budget, so it is important to consider these before deciding where you will rent.

For more detailed information about renting, look at the ‘Housing' section of the Newfoundland and Labrador Newcomer's Guide to Resources and Services.

Buying a Home

Homeowners in Newfoundland and Labrador enjoy one of the most affordable real estate markets in Canada. Therefore, home-ownership rates tend to be proportionally higher in Newfoundland and Labrador compared to the rest of Canada. As in the rest of Canada, non-Canadian citizens are able to purchase property in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, as long as they meet the financial requirements.  

You can search the housing market in Newfoundland and Labrador from anywhere in the world. Visit the MLS website and compare housing prices in neighborhoods and communities across the province. You can work with a real estate company to help you find and bid on a place, and a lawyer when you buy a house. Many people borrow money from a bank, credit union, or trust company. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website has step by step information to help you buy a home.

To buy a house, most people enter into a mortgage agreement with the bank.  This means they pay for the house over many years (often 25) by making a monthly payment to the bank.  There are other costs associated with buying a house as well, including real estate fees, legal fees and property taxes, which will vary depending on what community you decide to live in.  It is important to consider all of these when you make the decision to buy. Mortgage rates (interest on money to buy a house) are not the same at all banks. Compare carefully, or work with a mortgage broker.

Moving In

When you move in, you usually have to pay to connect utilities, including telephone, cable television, internet, gas or electricity. Connection charges are usually included in the first months' bill.

If your new home is heated by an oil furnace, find a supplier by searching the business section of the Yellow Pages under “Heating oil”. Be sure to put the initials “NL” after the community name (e.g. St. John's, NL., Brigus, NL., Labrador City, NL.).

In most cities and towns, mail is delivered to your house or apartment building. For information about sending and receiving mail in Newfoundland and Labrador, visit Canada Post website. If you live in an area without home delivery, call Canada Post at 1-800-267-1177 to get a community mailbox.

Insurance

The Insurance Brokers Association of Newfoundland website provides a wide variety of information on insurance services to best suit your budget and lifestyle. Insurance brokers work on your behalf to secure the best coverage in the market from the most trusted and secure, federally regulated insurance companies.

Whether you rent or own your home, you can and should buy insurance on your home and your belongings. For a list of brokers in Newfoundland and Labrador, click here.

If You Need Help with Housing

The ANC can provide information and referrals that will help you find affordable housing or emergency housing if it is needed.

Association for New Canadians (ANC) - you can visit their website, reach them by telephone (709) 722-9680 or visit their office in person in St John's. 

For more detailed information, look at the ‘Housing' section of the Newfoundland and Labrador Newcomer's Guide.